Rhythms of Grace | Tuesday, Week 4

Spiritual Practices: Couch to 5k

Designate a time during the day or the evening when you can be alone for 20 minutes.

As you read John 1:1-18, pray for insight from the Holy Spirit.

Who is the Word?

How does today’s reading correlate with yesterday’s reading?

Putting It Into Practice

Rule #2 Context is King

Understanding your surroundings is a vital endeavor in reading and interpreting the Bible. Putting words or sentences in context means recognizing the flow-of-thought the original author had in mind. 
A simple example is if you hear someone say, “That was the largest trunk I ever saw!” Without understanding the context of the statement, there are multiple interpretations possible. The meaning of the word “trunk” could refer to a piece of luggage, the main part of a tree, the rear storage area of a car (in the U.S.), or the long nose of an elephant! It also helps knowing whether one makes that statement from the California redwood forest or from the San Diego Zoo. In order to arrive at a proper interpretation one must be willing to put words and phrases in their proper context. 
Let’s consider a passage in the Bible. Someone might say to you, “The Bible says in Psalm 14:1, ‘There is no God.’” That’s a true statement … the Bible does have those words in Psalm 14:1, but without the context it takes on a different meaning. The full verse reads like this: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.” It’s a silly example, but points out just how important context is in reading and understanding the Bible. This is why context is king! 
Today’s reading is Genesis 2:4-25. 
Based upon yesterday’s blog, what type of literature would you label it? How is it different from Genesis 1:1-2:3? 
In terms of context, notice how the author adds a name to God in today’s reading. In Genesis 1:1-2:3, the writer refers to the Creator as “God” every time, which in Hebrew is “Elohim.” But, in Genesis 2:3-25, the writer refers to the Creator as “the LORD God” every time, which in Hebrew is “Yahweh Elohim.” Why do you think the author does this? 
What else do you notice is different from yesterday’s creation text?